March 07, 2015 – CNN’s Maggie Lake reports on the chaos in Venezuela as the cost of living skyrockets following plunging oil prices.
March 07, 2015 – CNN’s Maggie Lake reports on the chaos in Venezuela as the cost of living skyrockets following plunging oil prices.
– Venezuela To Start Fingerprinting Supermarket Shoppers (ZeroHedge, March 9, 2015):
Back in August, when we wrote about the latest instance of trouble in Maduro’s socialist paradise, we cautioned that as a result of the economic collapse in the Latin American nation (and this was even before the plunge in crude made the “paradise” into the 9th circle of hell), Venezuelans soon may need to have their fingerprints scanned before they can buy bread and other staples. This unprecedented step was proposed after Maduro had the brilliant idea of proposing mandatory grocery fingerprinting system to combat food shortages. He said then that “the program will stop people from buying too much of a single item”, but did not say when it would take effect.
– Venezuela’s Maduro Claims US Pilot Arrested For Espionage, Bans Bush, Cheney From Entering Nation (ZeroHedge, March 1, 2015):
In case the world needed any more geopolitical risk “hotspots”, overnight Venezuela’s flailing president Nicolas Maduro, faced with an unprecedented economic crisis at home, decided to do what most authoritarian rulers do when faced with imminent civil unrest: point the finger abroad, and in this case, at Washington, as a distraction. With crude oil plunging, with opposition leaders being arrested, and with the economy generally in shambles, Venezuela has in recent weeks accused the United States of being behind an alleged coup plot. Then overnight, Maduro switched from broad generalizations to specifics when, as CNN reports, Maduro said Saturday an unspecified number of Americans were arrested “a few days ago” for engaging in espionage and recruitment activities.
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– Coup Plot in Venezuela Thwarted (teleSUR, Feb 12, 2015):
Coup plotters planned on assassinating the Venezuelan president and installing a de facto government.
A coup plot against the Venezuelan government has been foiled, with both civilians and members of the military detained, President Nicolas Maduro revealed Thursday in a televised address.
Those involved were being paid in U.S. dollars, and one of the suspects had been granted a visa to enter the United States should the plot fail, Maduro said.
Venezuela’s president stated that the coup plotters already had a “transitional” government and program lined up once the plan, which included bombings on the Miraflores Palace and the teleSUR offices in Caracas, as well as assassinations of members of the opposition, Maduro and others, was carried out.
Full article and must-see photos here:
– Quote Of The Day: “Venezuela Must Deepen Socialism To Improve Economy” – Maduro (ZeroHedge, Jan 18, 2015):
Practically presented with no comment, we could not quite believe the words coming out of Venezuela’s President Maduro last night as he addressed the nation’s concerns over mile-long lines for toothpaste, toilet-paper, bread, and soap:
*VENEZUELA MUST DEEPEN SOCIALISM TO IMPROVE ECONOMY: MADURO
Having apparently failed on his mission to Asia to garner enough support to drag oil prices up to the $100 level he “believes is fair,” Maduro went on to explain how he will “change the food supply system, not the economic model,” to solve the nation’s crisis, since “most of the private sector are parasitic bums.”
– Venezuela Default Probability Has Never Been Higher; Maduro “Working To Raise Oil Prices” (ZeroHedge, Dec 10, 2014):
With OPEC slashing demand expectations to 12 year lows, oil prices have re-cratered today putting further pressure on socialist-utopia Venezuala which needs $121/bbl to break-even. Credit risk for the South American nation has exploded today to record highs – implying a 93% probability of default and President Maduro has taken to the airwaves to calm a benefit-needy nation… tensions are mounting…
Default risk has gone vertical…
As bond prices and black market FX crash further.
– Venezuelan Bonds Crash To Lowest Price Since 1998 (ZeroHedge, Dec 9, 2014):
Bond prices in Venezuela have totally collapsed this morning – at 45c on the dollar, they are the lowest since 1998 – as the realization of the “abyss” they are staring into sparks an exodus from all credit positions in the country. VENZ 5Y CDS rallied 130bps which signals hedgers unwinding and the simultaneous sale of the underlying bonds implies broad-based capital flight (and profit taking) as 1Y CDS surges to record highs at 4830bps.
VENZ Bond prices collapse to 1998 lows…
- VENEZUELA 2027 DOLLAR BONDS FALL TO LOWEST SINCE 1998
Venezuela’s 1Y CDS has smashed to record highs implying imminent devaluation or default…
If you didn’t think this was serious, think again. (as Bloomberg reports)
The scores of money managers and analysts who crowded into Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s panel discussion on Venezuela last week are a testament to the deepening concern over whether President Nicolas Maduro can make good on the nation’s debt obligations.
– In Venezuela First They Came For The Toilet Paper; Then They Came For The News Paper… (ZeroHedge, Sep 11, 2014):
Bidet sales across Venezuela are set to soar as just months after running out of toilet paper, AP reports that Venezuela’s oldest newspaper is shutting down due to falling advertising, mounting inflation and a lack of basic materials. In addition, at least nine Venezuelan regional newspapers have stopped circulation because of the shortages. Of course, this is likely great news for President Maduro who can now manage his people’s minds direct from his Twitter feed… welcome to socialist utopia.
– Venezuela Enforces Fingerprint Registry to Buy Groceries: What to Do Before Rationing Starts in America (The Organic Prepper, April 2, 2014):
What if you were forced to “register” in order to buy groceries? And what if, through that registration, the food you bought could be tracked and quantities could be limited?
That’s exactly the plan in Venezuela right now. The AP reports that in an effort to crack down on “hoarding” that ID cards will be issued to families. These will have to be presented before foodstuffs can be purchased.
– Venezuela: A Call for Peace (New York Times, April 1, 2014):
By Nicolas Maduro
CARACAS, Venezuela — THE recent protests in Venezuela have made international headlines. Much of the foreign media coverage has distorted the reality of my country and the facts surrounding the events.
Venezuelans are proud of our democracy. We have built a participatory democratic movement from the grass roots that has ensured that both power and resources are equitably distributed among our people.
According to the United Nations, Venezuela has consistently reduced inequality: It now has the lowest income inequality in the region. We have reduced poverty enormously — to 25.4 percent in 2012, on the World Bank’s data, from 49 percent in 1998; in the same period, according to government statistics, extreme poverty diminished to 6 percent from 21 percent.
We have created flagship universal health care and education programs, free to our citizens nationwide. We have achieved these feats in large part by using revenue from Venezuelan oil.
– Venezuela’s Maduro Averts Military Coup, Arrests Three Air Force Generals (ZeroHedge, March 25, 2014):
A day after Venezuela formally devalued its currency by way of the new and improved FX central planning system SICAD II, which sent the official value of the Bolivar 89% lower, the government desperately needed a distraction. It got just that when earlier today Socialist par excellence Nicolas Maduro announced that he had narrowly avoided a coup after he arrested three air force generals suspected of plotting an uprising against the leftist government.
Maduro told a meeting of South American foreign ministers that the three generals, who were not identified, had been in contact with the opposition and “were trying to rise up against the legitimately constituted government.”
– Obama Administration Targets Venezuela for ‘Regime Change’ (American Free Press, March 14, 2014)
• Ousted U.S. consular officials caught conspiring with protest groups
Continuing unrest in Venezuela can be traced to an ongoing plot by the Obama administration to topple the country’s democratically elected government and replace it with a regime run by rich families and corporations allied with Washington.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who succeeded the late Hugo Chavez, a Washington nemesis, recently expelled three United States consular officials, accusing them of conspiring for months with protest groups funded by Washington.
– Venezuela orders troops into border city amid fierce clashes (Telegraph, Feb 21, 2014):
President Nicolas Maduro has ordered paratroopers into the restive Venezuelan border city of San Cristobal amid fierce clashes between government forces and opposition protesters, as the leftist leader warned the US to stay out of the country’s growing unrest.
The battalion was rushed in on Thursday night to “restore order” in San Cristobal, where Mr Maduro has threatened to impose martial law to quell the protests that began in the city two weeks ago and have since spread nationwide, claiming the lives of at least six people.
– Venezuela Revokes CNN Journalist Credentials Amid “War Propaganda” (ZeroHedge, Feb 21, 2014):
“The CNN team was informed that their correspondent credentials were revoked,” Venezuela’s Information Ministry vice-president Francisco Perez stated. Ironically, for CNN, the decision was announced vis Perez’ Twitter account, following Maduro’s proclamations last night that “Enough! I won’t accept war propaganda against Venezuela.” Interestingly, given the opposition’s need to raise the awareness among the ‘poor’ in Venezuela if they are to succeed, local television networks have provided almost no live coverage of the protests against Maduro. While just one “journalist” has his credentials revoked, Maduro has threatened, to expel the whole network from the country if it did not “rectify” the way it has covered deadly political protests.
– What’s Going On In Venezuela (In A Nutshell) (ZeroHedge, Feb 16, 2014)
– Venezuela About To Run Out Of Food Despite Fresh All Time High In Its Stock Market (ZeroHedge, Jan 22, 2014)
– Inflation, Shortages, and Social Democracy in Venezuela (Ludwig von Mises Institute, Nov 29, 2013):
The economic turmoil in Venezuela has received increasing international media attention over the past few months. In September, the toilet paper shortage (which followed food shortages and electricity blackouts) resulted in the “temporary occupation” of the Paper Manufacturing Company, as armed troops were sent to ensure the “fair distribution” of available stocks. Similar action occurred a few days ago against electronics stores: President Nicolás Maduro accused electronics vendors of price-gouging, and jailed them with the warning that “this is just the start of what I’m going to do to protect the Venezuelan people.”
Earlier this month, in another attempt to ensure “happiness for all people,” Maduro began to hand out Christmas bonuses, in preparation for the coming elections in December. But political campaigning is not the only reason for the government’s open-handedness. The annual inflation rate in Venezuela has been rapidly rising in recent months, and has now reached a staggering 54 percent (not accounting for possible under-estimations). Although not yet officially in hyperinflation, monetary expansion is pushing Venezuela toward the brink.
In such an environment, paychecks need to be distributed quickly, before prices have time to rise; hence, early bonuses. This kind of policy is nothing new in economic history: Venezuela’s hyperinflationary episode is unfolding in much the same way Germany’s did nearly a century ago.
– To Boldly Go Where No Socialist Has Gone Before: Venezuela Creates Ministry Of Supreme Happiness (ZeroHedge, Oct 26, 2013):
If one (such as everyone at the Federal Reserve) thought that the world’s greatest artificial “wealth effect” would also generate the world’s happiest people, one would be dead wrong.
Take Venezuela – Hugo Chavez’ socialist paradise, which was recently inherited by Nicolas Maduro, when he proceeded to not only completely devalue the local currency but to engineer, through such exquisite central-planning that even the Politburo at the Marriner Eccles building is green with envy, the highest returning stock market on earth in 2013. Alas, either the locals are not quite as impressed with the Caracas’ “stock market” YTD return of over 300% (which doesn’t quite cover the loss in purchasing power for what things one can actually purchase in Venezuela)…
… or the chronic toilet paper shortages remind them that the phrase socialist utopia is the world’s greatest oxymoron.
As a result, president Maduro has decided to boldly go where no socialist has gone before and has unveiled a new Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness, whose primary purposes will be to enforce “happiness.” In other words, something along the lines of the beatings will continue until happiness returns…
Americans may have the constitutional right to pursue happiness, but Venezuela now has a formal government agency in charge of enforcing it. President Nicolas Maduro says the new Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness will coordinate all the “mission” programs created by the late President Hugo Chavez to alleviate poverty.
– U.S. drug agents smuggling cocaine, Venezuelan president alleges (Video) (Examiner. Oct 2, 2013):
The president of Venezuela on Wednesday cast suspicion on an American law enforcement agency saying his nation is probing the American drug enforcement officers to learn whether or not they are involved in narcotics trafficking in his country.
President Nicolas Maduro announced that his own law enforcement officials are investigating whether the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was involved in a recent criminal case involving a multi-million dollar cocaine smuggling operation, according to Jerry Langher, a former narcotics detective and director of corporate security.
#BREAKING: Bolivia’s Morales offers asylum to US leaker Snowden
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) July 6, 2013
– Nicaragua Offers Edward Snowden Asylum, Venezuela Promptly Follows (ZeroHedge, July 6, 2013):
Update: First Nicaragua, now Venezuela.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday he had decided to offer asylum to former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who has petitioned several countries to avoid capture by Washington.
“I have decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young American, Edward Snowden, so that in the fatherland of (Simon) Bolivar and (Hugo) Chavez, he can come and live away from the imperial North American persecution,”
Maduro told a televised parade marking Venezuela’s independence day. Snowden is believed to be holed up in the transit area of a Moscow international airport.
And so the “lead investor” principle comes to the asylum world. Now everyone wants a piece of the pie.
– Chavez battling ‘severe’ lung infection, respiratory failure (CNN, Jan 3, 2013):
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is battling a “severe” lung infection that has caused respiratory failure, a top official said.Chavez, 58, has been hospitalized in Cuba since undergoing cancer surgery more than three weeks ago.
He is following a strict treatment regimen for “respiratory insufficiency” caused by the infection, Venezuelan Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said in a televised statement Thursday night.
The information minister did not provide details about the treatment or prognosis.
March 5, 2008 — CUCUTA, Colombia – Venezuela and Ecuador reinforced their borders with Colombia yesterday as the three nations traded increasingly bitter accusations over Colombia’s cross-border strike on a leftist guerrilla base in Ecuador.Rejecting a Colombian apology as insufficient, Ecuador sought international condemnation of the attack during an emergency meeting of the Organization of American States, convened in Washington to help defuse one of South America’s most volatile crises in years.